Top Dog Blog

Veterans in industry and the public sector share insights, tips, and trends in Effective Leadership


July 1, 2018

You are Responsible

Our days are a series of choices. We have the option to do whatever it is that we want. We all talk about what we want to achieve, like high levels of success, however, the choices we make don’t always align. In fact, some people are in touch enough to know that professional success does not define them or merely provide a means to an income. For others, it is a large part of our personality. We all hear people say the right things, but their behaviors don’t align. You are responsible for your outcomes and have full control. Business leaders seeking to truly thrive should take a step back, decide what’s important, and act accordingly.

The Power of NO
Once you know what is important, what you choose not to do is equally, if not more, important than what you choose to do. No matter what you do or where you are, others are constantly demanding our time. We grow up with a guilt imposed for turning things away. Before you know it, there are a lot of other people in charge of your time and influencing your decisions. Say NO. Difficult? Yes! Empowering? You bet! I recommend you start small…going straight to the CEO on a large task may be a bit aggressive for your test run.

Hard Things are Hard
Human beings are wired for survival. We naturally protect ourselves. When presented with difficult things in life, it is very natural for us to overthink our way into endless delays or unintentional decisions as a way to protect ourselves. But, the right things to do are clear. Even the most fearless leaders have moments of doubt and indecision. The difference between individuals who rise to the top and the ones who are remain in the pack is the awareness of those natural feelings and a refusal to let them win.

Take a Few Extra Minutes
In deciding what’s important, the primary list is short. Take the time to think through what is most important to you. If it’s being the best leader, what does that mean? What type of leader are you looking to be? How do you want to execute as a leader? Once you have answers to these types of questions, take a few extra minutes throughout the course of the day to concentrate on them. It is easy to get caught up in the fires of the day and it feels good to put them out, but are they in line with who you want to be and what’s important? Spend a few extra minutes of your day, every day, with the people and the areas that are most important to you.